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OK this is a very general question and the answers will depend on a nuumber of variables but all I would like is a general indication of what people think is the minimum sensible water temperature to dive with a think (5/7 mm) semi-dry.

A friend of mine (hitherto a warm-water diver) is keen to do some UK diving and I thought about doing a day in Stoney as an introduction but he will need to hire his kit (and has never been near a drybag).

Any views gratefully received (as always).


Kristen
 

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<font color='#000080'>Dived once in a 7mm semi-dry in Stoney in October when first learning. I'm pretty good in the cold and don't feel it as much as many. I think the water was about 12c and I found it tolerable, though others were a bit chilled.

As you say, there are plenty of variables but at the moment with inland fresh water sites at temperatures around 5c I really wouldn't recommend it.
 

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If it's not warm enough for a 3mm wetsuit, it's drysuit weather in my book
 

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I used to train in Stoney at this time of year in a 7mm semi dry. I was cold sometimes, but probably no colder than in a drysuit after 45 minutes. With this is mind I would say there is no minimun temp. The coldest bit is when you are out of the water between dives, esp if the air is cold and it is windy.

We had a lass doing PRM this weekend in a 7mm semi, water temp 6C, she said she was nice and warm.

Paul
 

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For me in a 5+5 oceanic shadow, about 12c is the coldest I'd consider - and that's 'tolerable' rather than 'comfortable'.
 

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<font color='#000080'>minimum temp? when the water is solid! i know plenty of people who dive in semidrys all year round, down to freezing temps sometimes  


minimum sensible temp, for a warm-water diver looking for an introduction to british diving? different matter entirely. i really wouldn't recommend stoney until the water gets up to at leat 10 degrees, otherwise they're really not going to have a good time, and you'll probably put them off british diving for good!

if i was introducing a warm-water friend to british diving, i'd wait until the summer and do an easy shallow shore-dive, with warm water and fish to look at - a much better experience!
 

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<font color='#810541'>if you can wait until Monday I'll tell you how cold it is in Stoney at the weekend.  I think there are a few other hardy souls going in semi-drys.

I did my first OW dive at Stoney on March 3rd in a semi-dry and other than the thermal shock on my face when doing a mask clear, I didn't really feel the cold (apart from the hole in the backside of the suit, but that was another story).  I do have some of nature's insulation to help me though.  In the water I have never felt cold in the semi-dry, but you HAVE to keep yourself warm before and between dives; wear waterproofs to keep the wind out, and a woolly hat.

Andy
 

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Hi,

I am sure that thermal comfort in water is a very individual thing and if most experience has been in warm water your thermal tolerance may not be good. For me, having spent many years long distance running in all weather I find that my cold tolerance is pretty good. For what it's worth I dive most of the year round (Feb through to Dec) in an Oceanic Shadow 5mm + 5mm semi. When in the water it seems to me that the semi is as warm as a neoprene dry bag. The problem is between dives when the chill factor can really cool you down and also when first entering the water when your wet boots fill up. I would observe that for a semi to work properly it needs to be a snug fit all over.
Having said the above I do set myself a minium water temp of 6C for dives and may in time get a dry suit when I have got everything else I need.

Mike
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Stoney cove is a tropical 6°C. I was there on friday and sunday last week.

 

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I swam round Stoney Cove last week in a drysuit with a neck seal far too big for me. I would have been drier in a good semi-dry. Luckily the water temperature was a balmy 6 degrees. My dive lasted 40 minutes.
 

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<font color='#810541'>having experienced the water at Stoney on Saturday in a semi-dry, I would have to say given all consideration I would recommend not taking a previously warm-water diver in there in a semi dry at the moment.  I didn't feel the cold in the dive itself, apart from the couple of minutes spent at 5-6m at the end (but when it got cold, a couple of fin kicks after that big carp warmed me up again), but afterwards I started to cool down quite quickly.  

Having said that, wait until mid-summer and a south coast sea dive in a semi-dry would be fine, or an inland site towards the end of summer when the water has had a few months to warm up.

Andy
 

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<font color='#000080'>South Coast would be fine now as a shore dive as it doesn't get much below 10 degrees average. I've never dived in my semi-dry colder than 8 and to be honest in the water that was fine but not sure how much colder I'd want to go in it. As everyone else says the problem is not in the water but inbetween dives.

On a related note I've been told that the temptation to jump in a warm shower should be avoided as it increases the risk of DCI. Is this true and why? If so how do you stay warm in between dives in a sem-dry?

Thanks,

Iestyn
 

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<font color='#000080'>Oh and if they're hiring they wont have gloves. They will freeze without gloves, believe me they make a huge difference so find someone with a spare pair. I think a nice pier based south coast shore dive could win them over now but if stoney is the only option its probably better not to put them off.
 
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